Usage Public Domain Mark 1.0
Topics FBI, CIA, Bank, Narcotics, Nugan Hand, Nugan-Hand, Frank Nugan, Michael Hand, Colby, William Colby
Nugan Hand Bank was an Australian merchant bank that collapsed in 1980 after the suicide of one of its founders, Australian lawyer Francis John Nugan, resulting in a major scandal. News stories suggested that the bank had been involved in illegal activities, including drug smuggling, arranging weapons deals, and providing a front for the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Speculation grew when it became known that the bank had employed a number of retired United States military and intelligence officers, including former CIA director William Colby.
Investors' losses and the speculation surrounding the bank's activities led to three major government investigations over the next five years. The bank's co-founder, American Michael Jon Hand, and two other bank employees were indicted for conspiring to "pervert the course of justice" by destroying or removing bank records. Hand fled abroad in June 1980. Ultimately, a royal commission of inquiry found that while the bank had committed numerous violations of banking laws, the allegations of drug-smuggling, arms dealing, and involvement in CIA activities were not substantiated.
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